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The Framework

The nine strategies 

The nine strategies are the core of the Wales Without Violence Framework, spanning from early years to early adulthood and include prevention activity which can support individuals, whole communities, and even effect systemic change. You can read more about each strategy by clicking the headings below, and the theory of change illustrates the key outcomes and impacts expected if each strategy is implemented effectively

Families, Parenting and Early-Years

Providing a safe, secure and stable home environment lessens the risk of experiencing violence during childhood, adolescence and into adulthood.

This strategy focuses on supporting parents and caregivers so they can do just that. It’s about helping families and children build and sustain positive relationships – whilst also making sure children have a quality early years and pre-school education. 

This could include programmes that:

  • provide affordable and accessible childcare
  • enable access to safe and secure housing
  • provide practical support like managing finances or finding mental health services.

‘Positive family environments will give children and young people ‘a safe space to talk and communicate’.

Employment And Training Programmes

Secure employment, and the high self-esteem and good mental health that come along with it, can lessen the risk of becoming involved in violence.

The focus of this strategy is to ensure older children and young people can attain relevant, meaningful training and employment opportunities. They experience severe inequalities when it comes to accessing these opportunities, with inequalities increasing even more among certain groups. 

Programmes could include: 

  • providing resources for job interviews, including clothes and transport 
  • coaching that includes self-esteem work
  • robust workplace inclusion policies and practices 

‘I would feel empowered to achieve my potential.’

Early Identification and Support

When things go wrong, children and young people must be listened to, believed and helped. 

This strategy focuses on trauma-informed approaches to encourage children and young people who have experienced – or are concerned about – violence to access safe, appropriate and timely support.

Programmes could include:

  • helplines
  • trauma-informed training for the children and young people’s workforce
  • identification and referral between services (for example, custody services referring a child to a youth worker) 

‘Better mental health services would help the root cause of people needing to be violent.’

Policy and Legislation

Whilst laws alone can’t reduce violence, effectively implementing and enforcing them strengthens all nine strategies to prevent violence among children and young people. 

A robust legislative and policy framework lays the groundwork to prevent violence, addresses risk factors and legislates for employing a children’s rights approach. It can also provide a structure for protecting, effectively responding to and supporting victims, witnesses and children. 

Examples include: 

  • strengthening systems and coordination for protection, response and support through mandates, standards, procedures and accountability mechanisms
  • enhancing funding for prevention and the responsibility of partners to act to prevent violence through multi-agency working
  • establishing pathways to fair, transparent and child-friendly justice for all children

‘The political system needs to be changed to create a more equitable society.’

Reducing Poverty and Inequality

Whilst violence can happen to anyone, its adverse impacts are felt most severely in communities with high levels of socio-economic deprivation. So reducing poverty and income inequality are fundamental building blocks in preventing violence and improving safety. 

Policies and programmes can include:

  • strengthening leadership opportunities, including political participation, for children and young people from marginalised groups
  • improving economic security and stability for people from marginalised groups
  • gender mainstreaming and gender budgeting 

All programmes should involve communities as leaders in planning, development and implementation, and provide opportunities to connect with cultural and community identities to foster a sense of belonging.

‘Safety is a middle class privilege.’

Connection to safe activities and trusted adults

Children and young people’s risk of becoming involved in violence can be buffered through strong connections with caring adults (outside of parents and caregivers). Doing activities that encourage their​ skill development, creativity, learning and growth can also help. 

This strategy focuses on providing consistent connections with an adult role model to help children and young people learn how to have healthy relationships, challenge harmful behaviours or beliefs, and take part in activities they’re interested in.

Programmes could include:

  • music, art or theatre schemes
  • sports clubs and schemes 
  • grassroots community-led schemes
  • youth outreach work 

‘Our lives would be more enjoyable.’

Safe Community Environments

Too often, children and young people do not feel safe in their communities. 

Creating protective environments that allow children and young people to thrive and develop is an important strategy in promoting their physical and psychological safety, and their health and wellbeing. It can also help to end violence. 

‘Communities’ can include physical places such as schools, towns and nightlife areas, as well as online spaces such as social media platforms. 

Activities may include:

  • online safety training 
  • modifying the physical environment – for example, more lighting and CCTV
  • identifying violence hotspots within nightlife areas to inform licensing decisions, transport planning or other safety schemes

‘I would leave the house more often.’

Schools And Education

Education settings play a crucial role in violence prevention. These are places where children and young people learn societal norms, develop a sense of belonging and acquire knowledge, skills and experience. 

Educational engagement is also an important protective factor in preventing violence in childhood, adolescence and throughout the rest of their lives.  

Programmes could include:

  • involving parents, carers and the community in violence prevention activities  
  • developing leadership, policies, governance and coordination methods to create a whole-setting approach
  • training staff on healthy relationships, social norms and values, violence prevention, and online safety, including current trends 

‘We would have brighter futures which we are able to fulfil.’

Social Norms and Values

An individual’s values are influenced by their family, peer group, community and society.

Efforts to promote positive social norms and values – and to reduce the impact of harmful ones – are an essential tool for preventing violence. 

This strategy focuses on strengthening social norms and values that support non-violent, respectful, nurturing, positive and gender-equitable relationships for all children and young people.

Programmes can include:

  • those that teach bystander intervention
  • social marketing campaigns
  • ally-ship training 

 ‘I would feel safe in my own skin.’